Rep. Niemerg “No Mask” Request to Governor Results In Mandate Reversal for Some Outdoor Student Sports

Image: Channel 25 Eyewitness News (WEHT)

Over 700 Illinoisans Sign Petition to Support This Request for Students

State Representative Adam Niemerg (R-Dieterich) is pleased to announce that the Governor has reversed his “mask mandate” for outdoor student athletic competitions like track and field, cross-country running, softball, baseball, tennis and bass fishing teams.

“This effort by parents and families to be heard on the best interest of their children shows what can be done if we work together using common sense,” said Rep. Adam Niemerg. “I applaud the IHSA for this decision to move further back to normal for our student athletes. This is a good step in the right direction.”

The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Board of Directors met on Monday, April 12, 2021 updated the face mask requirement for students competing in low-risk, outdoor sports and activities. (April Board Meeting Includes Mask Updates, Summer Contact Day Reduction, 2021-22 IHSA Assessments & State Final Date & Site Updates) While competing, students in the low-risk sports category will not be required to wear a mask during actual competition.

The guidelines still require students to wear a mask while not actively competing such as athletes sitting on the bench between playing time. Officials in these sports and activities must continue to wear masks unless they are socially distanced. Still on the list of “high-risk” sports are football, boys lacrosse, and wrestling. The IDPA lists the various levels of risk activities on their web site at (Sports Safety Guidance | IDPH (

The request to the governor included the names of more than 700 parents and community members locally and around the state who are concerned about the mask mandate on their children.

“I will continue to work with the governor, department of public health, the IHSA and other officials to continue to do the right thing for our children and grandchildren who need these opportunities to get exercise and compete,” added Rep. Niemerg. “The science shows us that students who have regular physical activities are able to think and learn better and have higher levels of academic achievement.”